Taking my homeschool back 10 years!

Taking my homeschool back 10 years !

Each Year before school starts again I test my children just so that I will have a clear picture of where each child is academically.  Because I have homeschooled  for so long I remember when my older three children were in public school.  Kindergarten use to be about social development and some simple basic skills, such as colors, learning the ABC’s and how to write their first name.  Over the past 10 -15 years school changed Kindergarten is now first grade, and first grade is now second grade.  It used to be normal for first graders to still be learning to read. Now, not only does the state demand that they be reading but know 67 site words to boot.  By state standards for kindergartners who aren’t reading by the end of the year have these children considered behind.

Proponents of ramping up standards in early elementary education tend to focus on the numbers, the US trying to compete on a world level rather than doing what is right for our students as a whole. . More children learning to read and do math sooner must be good thing right?   But these achievements may come at the expense of other skills children need to learn, such as self-reliance, problem-solving, and spatial thinking. By  replacing the block centers with a math center, what do we gain?  I use blocks to teach  all about math, except they are more fun and allow for creative play also.

While young students’ reading and math scores are soaring, there is little assessment of the effect of the intensified academic focus on these children’s motivation to learn.  What ends up missing is creativity, fine motor skills, social skills, and self-esteem. The risk is children will already be burned out on school by the time they reach third grade. . “Play is how children learn. There should be more of it in the upper grades, not less in the lower grades.

Nowhere else do children grow up as fast as in the United States, In Finland, which routinely leads the world in assessments of literacy, math, and science, children don’t start formal schooling until age 7—and then they only attend half days. Compared to countries like the U.S. or the United Kingdom, children in Finland spend less time overall in school, too.   But here in the US, it’s expected that kids start kindergarten at age 5, and many have years of preschool experiences under their belts before walking through the kindergarten door. According to most child-development experts, play is the necessary work of children. According to psychologist Erik Erikson, the development of initiative through imaginative play is one of the primary challenges in the growth of young children. If children miss out on the work of play, their later learning can be adversely affected.

So you might be asking how can we as parents help successfully integrate play into or home school classroom?  By embedding math, science, and literacy skills in a fun, meaningful context, by slowing down and taking our class room back ten years.  As parents we understand that learning has to be enjoyable.   “If a child grows to dislike school, there will be repercussions for years to come. The drive to play is strong in every healthy child. However, children need the time and permission to do so. But what about those kids who don’t know what to do—or, really, how to play?

If  your child can’t play independently, parents can play with them helping to set up key play structure.


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